I am passionate about painting two things. One, the unexpected beauty found in urban settings and everyday life, the other, a passion for painting famous faces of the city. The first lends itself to the irregularity of bleach on fabric, the other, a challenge when capturing a likeness with a medium as unpredictable as bleach. By painting these images of city life, I aspire to capture the essence of living in an urban setting and the everyday people who bring lifeforce to it.
I am drawn to the graphic prints of umbrellas, the streak of yellow from a U-Bahn or the bright red of a London bus, flashes of colour from objects that are not designed with beauty in mind. My compositions are a ‘snapshot’ effect, with people walking in or out of the canvas, a fleeting moment, never stationary.
Every city gives birth to talented people, people who rise above the everyday and become public figures. I am drawn to trying to capture the energy of city life and the talent that emerges from it . The appeal of these very diferent subjects are for very different reasons; one, the portraits are posed and very aware of how they are being perceived, the other is the opposite, people running to catch a bus or taxi, unaware of even being looked at, but both equally appealing.
The biggest challenge using bleach on fabric is you cannot undo a mark once you have made it, you are essentially pulling an image from the darkness of the fabric. I feel that the luminosity of household bleach and the hidden colours that develop by using it , portrays my love of both subjects. Join me on this visual narrative, appreciating the faces and places of the city, perhaps your city.
Julie Potter Julie Potter studied at G.M.I.T. Galway and attained a National Diploma in Art and Design and went on to do a Bachelor of Design in Textiles. She then attained an Honours Diploma in Art and Design Education at the National College of Art and Design. She is currently teaching at Greenhills College, Dublin.